• Kyodo News

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There were an estimated 17.14 million children under the age of 15 in Japan as of April 1, marking a record low for the 28th straight year, according to a government report released Monday.

The report by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, released a day ahead of the Children’s Day national holiday, showed that children’s share of the population was 13.4 percent, declining for the 35th consecutive year.

The latest figures continue to show the country is experiencing a declining birthrate and an aging population. As of April 1, the proportion of people aged 65 and older was 22.5 percent of the population.

Japan fell below Germany, where children accounted for 13.9 percent of the population, and Italy, where the proportion was 14.1 percent.

The government report showed there were 8.78 million boys and 8.35 million girls in Japan as of April 1.

By prefecture, Akita had the lowest proportion of children in the population, at 11.5 percent, followed by Tokyo, at 11.8 percent, according to figures as of Oct. 1. The highest was Okinawa, at 17.9 percent. Tokyo, however, was the only prefecture that saw its percentage rise from a year earlier.

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